So What?

Sunset is coming

January 14, 2022  • Aspen Planning and Evaluation Program

The ‘So What?’ guide highlights advice, events, and tips — mostly from the advocacy and evaluation worlds, selected by the Aspen Planning and Evaluation Program

Hello out there. Have you noticed that in January the sunset comes way too soon (at least here in the Washington DC metro area).  That’s the way it feels for us at APEP as we prepare to “sunset” the program at the Aspen Institute.

Why sunset APEP, you ask? (Or perhaps the smart-mouthed among you responded, “So what?” to which we say: “leave the snark to us professionals.”)

But yes, seriously, at the end of March 2022 David Devlin-Foltz will be retiring from the Aspen Institute after nearly 29 years, including some 15 years helping to develop the advocacy and policy change evaluation field through the work of APEP on multiple continents with scores of clients.

Dr. Susanna Dilliplane will also be leaving the Institute at that time, but she’ll continue raising the evaluation torch high. She will be throwing herself full-time into her practice as an independent research and evaluation consultant, indulging her particular passion for helping nonprofits and foundations advance media and narrative change projects in service to a healthy and inclusive democracy. You can find her on LinkedIn – or in a barn caring for rescue horses.

As for David, he’ll continue his active life as a loving husband and care manager for an ailing brother, a proud parent, perhaps one day soon-ish a grandparent (no pressure, guys), and as an advocate and activist in his own right.

We’re not quite ready to turn off the lights at APEP, with client work scheduled through March 31st.  In coming weeks, we look forward to releasing the final public products from our five-year evaluation of the Hewlett Foundation’s 2016 strategy for promoting reproductive health advocacy by local civil society organizations in sub-Saharan Africa. For David, the project draws on experiences going all the way back to his Peace Corps service more than 40 years ago. Check out the Hewlett Foundation website – and our APEP pages – for current and forthcoming reports on a project that David sees as the capstone of a career well spent. 

As we enter these final months of APEP activity, we just wanted to blast out this thanks and warm wishes to the many present and former colleagues, clients, consultant partners, evaluator pals, and evaluator-adjacent friends on this list. May you enjoy good health, meaningful work, and love.

Reproductive Health
Early lessons: Using a principles-based strategy to support local advocacy in Africa
February 21, 2020 • Aspen Planning and Evaluation Program